Bourke 'very happy' with bar results after second year of profit
Entrepreneur Jay Bourke said he is "very happy" with the performance of his Market Bar restaurant and bar, with figures showing that the business increased pre-tax profits by 28pc to €401,018 in 2011.
Mr Bourke co-owns the well-known Dublin restaurant and pub with John Reynolds and Eoin Foyle and the profits in 2011 follow profits of €295,087 in 2010.
The eatery and bar – with seating capacity for 300 – has featured on RTE's 'Fade Street' series and the two years of successive profits follow a pre-tax loss of €409,002 in 2009.
Mr Bourke confirmed that the business continued to perform well in 2012. He said: "We are very happy with the business and very proud of it. It is a great business and has always been very well run."
He added: "It has been a difficult time to be in business with very little credit available. We are all a little battered and bruised, but if you are still in business, you are doing fine."
"I hope that the consumer will get a little more confidence with the Government's debt deal, because there has been a lot of uncertainty and fear out there."
However, Mr Bourke criticised the Government's failure to deal with upward-only rent reviews. He said a lot of businesses were destroyed because of this "silly legislation".
Last December, Mr Bourke and Mr Reynolds – with two other publicans– were unsuccessful in opposing €1.4m plans by celebrity chef Dylan McGrath in securing a full public-house licence for his 8,000 sq ft new restaurant nearby.
Mr Bourke said Mr McGrath's new business, Fade St Social "has improved the area. There are a lot of people coming here. He has done a fantastic job."
The Market Bar employs 50 between full-time and part-time staff, of whom Mr Bourke said: "I want to pay tribute to the staff who have learned new skills and who have done what has to be done along with taking salary cuts."
According to a note attached to the accounts for Mercroft Taverns Ltd, "turnover has increased during the year mainly by the provision of an off-site bar at music festivals. The new income stream has contributed to the profits for the year."
The note continues: "However, the company has a deficit of shareholder funds at year end of €989,161 – down from €1.33m in 2010. The company continues to depend on the support of its bankers, trade creditors and directors."
The note adds: "The above circumstances indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which casts doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern. However, the directors believe that the going-concern basis is still appropriate as they have increased turnover and have a reasonable expectation that the company's bank will continue to provide facilities."
The abridged accounts – which do not provide a turnover figure – show that the firm reduced its bank debt during the year from €1.45m to €1.39m. The firm's cash increased from €106,605 to €225,873.
Mr Reynolds, a nephew of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, promotes the Electric Picnic music festival, while Mr Bourke has a number of other interests in the hospitality sector.